As a youngperson, I often find myself feeling powerless when faced with the problem of climate change. The need for systemic solutions on a global scale can seem daunting, especially when the majority of governments pursue business as usual rather than offering meaningful change.
Yet, solutions to the climate crisis can start at the local level through communities coming together and demanding better. Using our voices through registering to vote is a way of saying that business as usual isn’t an option when it comes to protecting the environment.
Coronavirus presents a unique opportunity for society to build back in a greener, and more sustainable way as we emerge from lockdown. In London, lockdown has led to huge improvements in air pollution as levels of nitrogen dioxide (which result largely from diesel emissions) have fallen by more than 50% across the city.
Whether you’re looking up at a starry sky, meeting up with friends in a park or just walking down the road to the shops we can all feel the benefits of cleaner air. As we return to normal life, I hope that we can leave toxic pollution, excessive congestion and gridlocked traffic in the past.
Not only do small particulates (known as PM) released by diesel vehicles contribute to climate change, but they have been identified as a potential risk factor that could increase the susceptibility and severity of symptoms in Covid-19 patients.
After months of being stuck indoors the last thing you want is to know that when you go outside you’ll be put at greater risk from coronavirus by breathing unclean air. That’s why it’s so important that people across London register to vote for a healthier environment.
A return to normal life in London doesn’t have to mean a return to poor air quality. Everyone has a right to breathe clean air and each of us has a responsibility to register to vote so that we can get heard and keep communities across the capital, and our environment, safe.
If you haven’t already registered to vote you can do at the following link (tell everyone you know to do it too!) – https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and find all the resources you need on the London Voter Registration Hub – registertovote.london. Make sure your voice is heard on the issues that matter most to you. And remember, London won’t be the same without your voice – #NoVoteNoVoice!